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Contractors set to lock out 2000 hospital workers

Contractors set to lock out two thousand hospital workers 

The lockout of two thousand public hospital cleaners, orderlies and kitchen staff from midnight Monday 4 th June has been branded as abusive and vicious by the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc. 

Union spokesperson Alastair Duncan says the health sector lockout is unprecedented and will be the largest action of its kind since the waterfront lockout of 1951. 

"Four contracting companies, Spotless, OCS, ISS and Compass dominate the provision of key services in our public hospitals. They have launched a vicious and abusive attack on some of the lowest paid workers in the public health system. 

"By locking out the workforce the contractors will put themselves at odds with other health workers and the community." 

"The employers seem to have ignored the lessons of the Progressive dispute last year when distribution workers were locked out.  Kiwis don't like the idea of bullies and the negative consequences of such actions will have long term repercussions. 

Alastair Duncan says the contractors refused union requests to work over the long weekend to try and resolve the situation. 

"While our negotiators were ready to meet over the long weekend, neither the contractors nor the District Health Board representatives were willing to do so. 

"To proceed with a lockout while there is still any chance of progress must call into question the motives of the contractors." 


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